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Plans For New Medical Center, Pharmacy Are Outlined In Ledyard
20-Dec-2007: A proposed medical center and Rite Aid pharmacy on the site of the former Gales Ferry School could be a catalyst for future development in Gales Ferry, the partners of Cefalu Development told the Zoning Commission.
The commission held public hearings Wednesday night on site plan and special permit applications for both of the projects they plan for the 5.2-acre school site, which residents voted in November to sell to Cefalu for $1.18 million.
On the rear 3.2 acres of the property, Cefalu plans to convert the 22,000-square-foot school building at 7 Hurlbutt Road into a medical office building.
An added portico would define the entrance to the building and create a covered drop-off area. The roof atop the gymnasium portion of the former school and above a secondary entrance would be similar to that of the portico, enhancing the existing building, Cefalu partner Richard Peeler said.
The developers hope to get approval from the state Department of Transportation for a traffic signal at the intersection of Route 12 and Hurlbutt Road, they said.
Economic Development Commission Chairman Mike Cherry spoke in favor of the medical center application but asked the Zoning Commission to ensure that parking areas would be screened by landscaping and that the site is walkable.
"The devil's in the details," said Gales Ferry District President Gabe Stern, who said his comments weren't in favor or against the proposal. "What is the landscaping going to look like? What is the overall effect?"
Zoning commissioners voted to close the public hearing on the medical center applications.
On the front 2 acres of the school site, Cefalu plans a 14,673-square-foot Rite Aid pharmacy. It would be the first pharmacy in town since Gales Ferry Drug on Route 12 closed in 2004, and currently the closest pharmacy is more than 5 miles away at the Stop & Shop in Groton.
The pharmacy would have entrances from Hurlbutt Road and from Route 12 and could also be accessed from a drive connecting with the medical center property. Sidewalks would be constructed along Route 12 and Hurlbutt Road and around the pharmacy building.
Feedback from residents and officials was incorporated into a new design shown Wednesday. The building exterior would consist of a dark brown brick base and lighter horizontal siding with white trim. Windows would extend along the sides of the building, with taller ones at the entrance. The new design also added a gable roof fašade, with eaves covering a sidewalk around the building.
Speaking during the public hearing, Cherry called the design "a fantastic improvement." He suggested a sidewalk providing access between the pharmacy and adjacent Ledyard Farms.
The Zoning Commission had not acted on the medical center or pharmacy applications as of 9:15 p.m., nor had the commission begun discussing the continued application of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation for a proposed zone change of property on Indiantown Road from a residential zone to a Resort Commercial Cluster District.